NON-JUDICIAL PUNISHMENT – ARTICLE 15
Military Defense Attorney at Fort Stewart & Hunter Army Airfield
Coastal Georgia Article 15 Non-Judicial Punishment Legal Advice
Even minor offenses are covered by the Uniform Code of Military Justice (“UCMJ”). Depending on your branch of service, a Non-Judicial Punishment (“NJP”) is an administrative action such as an “Article 15”, “Office Hours” or “Captain’s Mast.” Our Military Defense Lawyer provides consultations and coaching services for soldiers facing an Article 15 in the Army or Air Force at Fort Stewart or Hunter Army Airfield.
Please understand that what constitutes as a “minor” offense is a matter of discretion for the commander trying to impose the punishment. Actions that could qualify for an Article 15-NJP could include petty theft, reporting late to duty, disobeying orders, sleeping on watch or providing false information.
Although these offenses do not require a judicial hearing by Court-Martial, the type of punishment your commander imposes can negatively affect your military career. Therefore, before deciding to accept or reject the NJP-Article 15, please contact our Military Defense lawyer at (912) 525-0555 for a FREE Case Evaluation. Your NJP-Article 15 hearing will be more informal than a judicial hearing; however, legal advice or coaching can properly prepare you to present a strong case.
Know Your Rights When Facing an NJP-Article 15
Accept or Reject the Non-Judicial Punishment
If your commander has “offered” you an Article 15 action, your commander is putting you on notice that they believe you have violated the UCMJ. At this point, you can either accept or reject the NJP. Although acceptance of an NJP is not an admission of guilt, if you choose to accept the NJP, you are:
- Giving up your right to trial by Court-Martial.
- Giving your commander the right to act as judge and jury because he or she will be determining whether you are guilty or not guilty of the accused offenses.
In most situations, you have the right to refuse an Article 15 action and request a trial by Court-Martial.
Right to Counsel
In most cases, you have the right to consult with your own, private Military Defense Lawyer before deciding whether to accept or refuse an NJP-Article 15 (with the exception of the Army, the commander is employing a Summarized NJP Proceeding). Even if you decide to accept the NJP-Article 15, we strongly encourage you to seek legal advice and coaching. After accepting an NJP-Article 15, you have the right to present any matters that may support your innocence or mitigate an impending punishment. Therefore, speaking with a seasoned attorney who has trial experience can help you choose which evidence and witness testimonies to present to your commander to support why you should not be punished (or not punished severely).
Contact Our Coastal Georgia Board of Inquiry Defense Lawyer Today!
Deciding to accept or reject your commander’s NJP-Article 15 is not a decision you should make lightly. If you are found guilty, it could not only impact your military rank, but also your family’s financial stability.
Punishment that can be imposed under Article 15 includes:
Field Grade Officer Article 15:
- Restriction up to 60 days
- Extra duty up to 45 days
- Loss of 1/2 of base pay for 2 months
- Reduction of pay grade (E-1 for E-4 and below; one pay grade for E-5 and above)
Company Grade Officer Article 15:
- Restriction up to 14 days
- Extra duty up to 14 days
- Loss of 7 days base pay
- Reduction of pay grade (one grad for E-4 and below; not applicable to E-5 and above)
Please note that depending on your branch, your commander may impose additional punishments and limitations such as confinement, reduced rations and correctional custody.
If your commander has offered you a Non-Judicial Punishment / Article 15, please do not make the decision to accept or refuse it without first considering your legal options and rights. Our Military Defense Lawyer is a former military prosecutor; therefore, he is very familiar with administrative actions and the military legal system’s treatment of such actions.
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